A Conversation with Gabriel Gatti (Professor of Sociology, University of the Basque Country, Spain)

Due in large part to humanitarian law and transitional justice, the categories of detained-disappeared and forced disappearance are today well established – so much so that in some places like Argentina and Uruguay an intense social life has taken shape around them and in their wake. Victims mix with institutions, laws, and professionals (forensic anthropologists, social scientists, jurists, psychologists, artists, archivists, and writers), occupying intersecting positions and doing so with varied narratives, from the epic and heroic to the tragic and traumatic. Based on extensive fieldwork in Argentina and Uruguay, Gatti analyzes these worlds in an attempt to understand how one inhabits the categories that international law has constructed to mark, judge, think about, and repair horror.

Gabriel Gatti is Professor of Sociology at the University of the Basque Country, Spain. His research and teaching focus on contemporary forms of identity, in particular those constituted in situations of social catastrophe, rupture, and fracture. He is the author of Identidades débiles, Identidades desaparecidas, Les nouveaux répères de l’identité collective en Europe, and Basque society. His latest work, Surviving Forced Disappearance in Argentina and Uruguay: Identity and Meaningwas published in august of 2014. He is also a main researcher behind the Mundo(s) de victimas (World(s) of victims) a study of four cases that deal with the construction of the “victim” category in contemporary Spain.

Professor Gatti’s visit is part of the Reframing Mass Violence Collaborative Series. Sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Study, the Human Rights Program, the Department of Sociology, the Department of Political Science and the Department of Spanish & Portuguese.